Contributed to the enhancement of Korean electronics industry by domestically producing calculators, computers, and electronic switching systems Established the basis for large national IT projects based on technology development for TDX, 4M D-RAM, and CDMA
(Late) Ahn Byung Sung
Research Fellow at Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) (1935~2010)
- Academic background
B.E., Dept. of Electrical Engineering, Inha College of Engineering
M.E., Dept. of Eclectical Engineering, Inha College of Engineering
Eng.D., Dept. of Eclectical Engineering, College of Engineering, Inha Univ.
- Professional career
1962 ~ 1970
Research Officer, Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute
1970 ~ 1977
Head of Office, Korea institute of Science and Technology
1977 ~ 1981
2nd Vice President, Korea Telecommunications Technology Research Institute
1981 ~ 1984
Vice President & Head of Research Institute, Daeyoung Electronics Industry Co., Ltd.
1984 ~ 1998
Head of Research Unit & Research Fellow, Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute
Founder & CEO, Sumi Co., Ltd.
Official Commendation of the ROK President, 8th Export Promotion Council
Samil Culture Award, Technology Award
Order of Civil Merit, Pomegranate Medal
Institute of Electronics and Information Engineers Technology Award
Order of Civil Merit, Camellia Medal
Dr. Byung Sung Ahn was a pioneer who developed electronics telecommunication technology under challenging circumstances when Korean lacked basic resources and technologies. He contributed greatly to Korea’s development as an advanced information technology country. Dr Ahn pursued his career at various organizations including Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, Korea Institute of Science and Technology, Korea Telecommunications Research Institute, Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute, etc., He led the champaign for the domestic production and development of electronic calculators, computers, electronic switching systems, etc., as well as establishing the foundations for technology development projects for TDX, 4M D-RAM, and CDMA.
Contributed to the production and export of portable calculators
He was born in 1935 and graduated from Dept. of Electrical Engineering, Inha College of Engineering, where he finished his master's degree course as well. From 1962 to 1970, he served as a Research Officer for Electronic Engineering Research Office at the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute. From 1970 to 1977, he took the position of Head of Mode Equipment Research Office (later, Dept. of Electronic Engineering) working for the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST). He succeeded in producing electronic calculators in Korea for the first time in 1971. He developed desk calculators, pocket calculators and printer calculators. The desk calculator, especially, was exported to USA, Canada, Brazil, etc. with total sales of 100,000 e.a. It was introduced broadly in a comparison with 15 other kinds by Consumer Reportof the USA in June 1973. Recognized for his contributions to the development of technology and of exports, he was granted the Presidential Commendation in 1972 and the Samil Culture Award, Technology Award in 1974.
Led the development of the first computer in Korea and first private electronic switching system
He also succeeded in developing the first ever Korean computer, the 'Sejong 1' in 1973. Sejong 1 was equipped with all the functions of a mini-computer for the time. Both the H/W and S/W were developed entirely by a Korean research team. Interestingly, the development of Sejong 1 did not begin from a plan to achieve domestic production of computers. In 1972, the Blue House requested that KIST develop a Private Automatic Branch eXchange (PABX) system to be used for the hotline of the Korean Central Intelligence Agency. Taking this opportunity, KIST organized an Electronic Switching System Team, headed by Dr. Ahn, and began work on the so-called 'Memo Call Project'. KIST researchers developed S/W for the electronic switching system under 'Nova 01' environment. There were problems initially because the computer could not the support time sharing function which was central to the software. To solve the problem, they began to develop a computer that was compatible with Nova 01 and the result was the Sejong 1.
KIST named the electronic switching system connected to Sejong 1 ‘KIST-CCSS’ and then released in 1975, the ‘KIST 500’, was a revised version of KIST-CCSS developed with the assistance of GTE. While working on this project, Dr. Ahn acquired his doctorate from the Dept. of Electronic Engineering, College of Engineering, Inha Univ. with the thesis, "A study on the increase of capacity of time sharing communication system by distributed allocation method" in 1975. And in 1977, GTE and Samsung Electronics established a joint venture, Samsung GTE, for the mass production of Sejong 1 and KIST 500. In 1982, Samsung Semiconductor Telecommunications were founded by a merger between Korea Electronic Telecommunications and Samsung GTE. Sejong 1 provided the technological basis for the 'Samsung Supermicro' series computers that were developed later as the Samsung Semiconductor Telecommunications' own model in mid- and late 1980s. The KIST 500 continued to improve, providing the foundations for a Total Electronic Switching System Technology Development Project (so-called 'TDX Technology Development Project'), that was implemented during 1977～1991.
Laid the foundations for TDX, 4M D-RAM, and CDMA technology development projects
Dr. Ahn took charge of the basic research necessary for the project, serving as the 2nd Deputy President of the Korea Telecommunications Technology Research Institute during 1977～1981. He served as Vice President & Head of Research Institute of Daeyoung Electronics Industry Co., Ltd. during 1981～1984 and worked for Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) during 1984～1998. During 1986～1989, ETRI implemented a joint technology development project for ultra high integrated semiconductors (so-called '4M D-RAM Joint Development Project') that was participated in by the three semiconductor companies: Samsung Electronics, Gold Star Semiconductor, and Hyundai Electronics and was led by ETRI. In this project, he led the management of the companies while also preparing the development plan report.
Also, ETRI implemented digital mobile telecommunications technology development project (so-called 'CDMA Technology Development Project') during 1989～1996, in which Dr. Ahn served as the Head of Wireless Telecommunications Development Unit and he conducted basic research in mobile telecommunications technology development and led the work to select the business partners for implementation. In fact, those projects for TDX Technology Development Project, 4M D-RAM Joint Development Project, and CDMA Technology Development Project developed into major national projects that provided the impetus for Korea to leap toward to the status of an advanced IT country. Dr. Ahn participated in all those three projects in the initial stage leaving his fingerprints on all major efforts, and setting the course for those projects.